Outsmarting Implicit Bias
Outsmarting Implicit Bias
About Outsmarting Implicit Bias
Explore the mind’s blindspots with Outsmarting Implicit Bias, an educational media series founded by Harvard psychologist Mahzarin Banaji. Apply insights from the science to make better decisions in life and at work.
We have more information at our fingertips than ever before… but this doesn’t mean we’re making better decisions. Why? One culprit: the confirmation bias. From DNA analysis and political debates to the strategies we use in business and fantasy football, our desire to confirm our beliefs skews how we interpret the data in front of us.
What’s more likely: death by shark attack, or death by lightning strike? The science suggests you’ll choose “shark attack”… but that’s not the right answer. So why do so many of us agree? It’s called the availability bias: our tendency to assume that events that come easily to mind must be more common or true.
In a groundbreaking study, sociologist Devah Pager showed that being Black hurts an applicant's chances of being hired just as much as a felony conviction. What do decisions based on gut instincts mean for the survival of a business?
Our faces broadcast information about us: whether we’re smart, warm, trustworthy. How do these signals influence decision-making – and are they accurate? Psychologist Alexander Todorov discusses the science behind face value. (Visit our website to watch the video version of this episode.)
Voices are more than just sounds. They’re auditory faces that can give clues to who we are. In the time it takes to say “hello,” we can identify a person’s ethnic or cultural background as different from ours. Yet this can lead to other impressions that are just...wrong. How might accents influence our judgments? And what’s the cost?
Book-smart or street-smart? Education or experience? We like to think we use objective criteria to make decisions. But what happens when we choose the person first, then use the standard that supports our decision? How might the “pictures in our heads” drive the criteria we choose?
40 years ago, memory researchers showed us that patients with amnesia could form new memories… implicitly. This sparked an ongoing revolution in research on the hidden mind: how it learns, how it influences us, and how it can be measured and changed.
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